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20141224_193503I got a Crock Pot for Christmas! Very exciting, and as soon as we’ve eaten up all these leftovers, I’m going to see what I can cook very, very slowly. I’m looking forward to it. (Any favorite slow cooker recipes out there??)

Since we got our son a checkers board as one of his gifts, we played a lot of family games of checkers this holiday. My husband constantly beats me in games like that. It makes playing with him very tiring–until I found something to make it a LOT more fun…

Back stories!

Photo from The Children's Museum of Indianapolis

Photo from The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis

If you give every single checker piece a back story (and don’t be lazy about it! I mean EVERY piece!), let him give a little speech when he gets kinged, have him show the checker piece next to him snapshots of his family and then give him existential crises when he’s faced with jumping another piece… Give them sweethearts back home, weight them down with personal memories and hopes for the future. When that gets boring, you can turn your entire little army into pacifists who give lengthy monologues about the value of every game piece and sacrifice themselves for each other at every opportunity… it gets to be fun again! For me, less so my husband… he made me change themes. The checker pieces were too sympathetic at that point.

Our favorite story arc involved the CIA, a Russian peasant community, brainwashing, and an inordinate love of minivans. No checker pieces were harmed in the making of that story.

So that was my Christmas! Be thankful that you aren’t married to a novelist, or you might have to endure long, guilt-inducing monologues during board games, too. I hope you all had a wonderful holiday, and that 2015 brings you happiness and prosperity!

From my home to yours… ❤